Back of the shop

Here’s a great way to get to know the pigments on your palette, or to find out more about a colour you are thinking of adding. Instead of just painting it into a little square swatch like we all do, paint a whole sketch with it.

I got to try this out the other night at life drawing. My group meets in a room at the back of an art supply shop (Galerie d’Art Pointe Claire) — a very convenient location if you happen to run out of paper or charcoal, but also highly dangerous if you love to buy art supplies (like me). On a break from drawing the model, I was talking with Pierre (the owner) about Holbein Irodori paints and he gave me a blob of the Antique Orange to try. Just squeezed some out on a scrap of watercolour paper. I was about to paint a little rectangle to see what it looked like, but instead I decided to sketch Jimmy, our model. In other circumstances, I probably never would have chosen bright orange paint for life drawing, but it was the perfect opportunity to see if the paint was opaque or transparent, staining or granulating, etc. You can see where the original blob of paint was, right above Jimmy’s head. I kept on painting until the blob ran out. Turned out to be my most successful sketch of the night, I learned a thing or two about the paint (it’s definitely more transparent than I thought it would be!) and it made me realize that this is probably what I should be doing each time I try out a new pigment.


19 Comments on “Back of the shop”

  1. marieechols says:

    Love this idea!


  2. Tylara says:

    Shari, what is your favourite brand of Naples Yellow? ( if you use it. I may have you confused with Marc Taro. One of the two of you has inspired me to consider this colour.)


    • Hi Tylara,
      I used M. Graham Naples Yellow. But it is a colour I use infrequently and rarely for mixing. I use it when I want some opaque yellow to sit on top of other colours. I guess you couldn’t really try this experiment with Naples Yellow, though. It’s too light.


  3. Jane Hannah says:

    Hi Shari — can anyone go to these life drawing sessions? Do you pay every time that you attend one of these or is it one lump sum for the session? I would like to attend if possible as the semester (18 hours of teaching time this semester) is nearing to an end, and my creative juices need a revamp. Love what you explained today and thank you for sharing Shari -)))


    • Jane, it does sound like you need a change. I know very well how hard those semesters can be. That sounds like how I felt in the fall!!
      For the life drawing session, call Pierre at Galerie d’Art Pointe Claire and ask to be put on the waiting list. The studio is quite small and only fits about 6 people so I believe there is a waiting list. But maybe he will open another session. This is six weeks long and we pay for the whole session at once. Good luck with the end of the semester!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG! What an great idea! I’m definitely going to try it – just for fun, if nothing else.


  5. Ann Simons says:

    Great idea!
    Love your paintings and comments!


  6. very thought provoking. Thanks for sharing this Shari.


  7. joantav says:

    What a great way to learn about a new color!


  8. Judy Sopher says:

    Interesting idea with an interesting result. A portrait a day using a different color each time. I bet I could go many days without duplicating with all the paint I have.

    What did you think of this orange? Would you use it?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s